October 17, 1968

PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

I thought it would be in order to direct it to the Minister of Finance because he was the president of the treasury board at the time. Can he say whether any such correspondence has been received from any other province?

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REPORTED WARNING RESPECTING COST OF JOINT PROGRAMS
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LIB

Edgar John Benson (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Benson:

No such letter was brought to my attention before the tabling of the estimates.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REPORTED WARNING RESPECTING COST OF JOINT PROGRAMS
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PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Slanfield:

Would the minister say whether at the time of the filing of the prospectus with the securities and exchange commission in the United States on May 28, he was advised or whether he inquired at that time about the rate at which the federal estimates for hospital care and post-secondary education grants were being used up?

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REPORTED WARNING RESPECTING COST OF JOINT PROGRAMS
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LIB

Edgar John Benson (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Benson:

The document filed with the securities and exchange commission was an historic document. It indicated public statements by the government prior to that time with regard to the estimates. I should also indicate to hon. members opposite that far

October 17, 1968

Inquiries of the Ministry from people feeling deceived, these bonds are now trading at $103 in New York.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REPORTED WARNING RESPECTING COST OF JOINT PROGRAMS
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PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

I do not wish to be insistent, but I wonder whether the minister would answer my question concerning whether he made inquiries at the time he gave this representation on behalf of the government of Canada.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REPORTED WARNING RESPECTING COST OF JOINT PROGRAMS
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LIB

Edgar John Benson (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Benson:

Of course I made inquiries concerning the position of the government. At that time the position of the government was that we knew certain expenditures would be changed. It was our hope at that time that we could save an equivalent amount in controllable non-statutory expenditures. This proved to be not the case.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REPORTED WARNING RESPECTING COST OF JOINT PROGRAMS
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PC

George Harris Hees (Progressive Conservative Party Caucus Chair)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. George Hees (Prince Edward-Hast-ings):

I should like to ask the minister if the government has made a decision whether the $116 million federal share of the Expo deficit is to be added to the regular budget deficit or whether some other disposition is to be made of it?

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REPORTED WARNING RESPECTING COST OF JOINT PROGRAMS
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LIB

Edgar John Benson (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Benson:

A decision has not been made at this time, but my hon. friend knows that the amount involved has been paid by the federal government and that indeed we are recovering cash with regard to the funds advanced to Expo.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REPORTED WARNING RESPECTING COST OF JOINT PROGRAMS
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PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

Am I to assume from the answer that as of the end of May the government had no indication that expenditures would be running substantially above the estimates tabled in the House of Commons?

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REPORTED WARNING RESPECTING COST OF JOINT PROGRAMS
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LIB

Edgar John Benson (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Benson:

I can assure my hon. friend that it was the hope of the government that it would be able to stick to the public statements that had been made prior to that time.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REPORTED WARNING RESPECTING COST OF JOINT PROGRAMS
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PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Marcel Lambert (Edmonton West):

Will the minister advise us whether the computers have been of assistance in this area equal to his wild forecasts?

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REPORTED WARNING RESPECTING COST OF JOINT PROGRAMS
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. I doubt whether that question is acceptable.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REPORTED WARNING RESPECTING COST OF JOINT PROGRAMS
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PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lambert (Edmonton West):

It was the

minister himself who made the assertion that the computers were of great assistance.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REPORTED WARNING RESPECTING COST OF JOINT PROGRAMS
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

This is developing into a debate.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   REPORTED WARNING RESPECTING COST OF JOINT PROGRAMS
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EXPO '67 INQUIRY AS TO SALE OF EXPO EXPRESS


On the orders of the day:


RA

Gilbert F. Rondeau

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Gilbert Rondeau (Shefford):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to address a question to the honorable Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce.

Is it his intention to obtain a revision of the decision regarding the sale of Expo Express, a decision which did not please the president of the executive council of the city of Montreal and which was reached on the vote of the federal representative to the World Exhibition Corporation?

Topic:   EXPO '67 INQUIRY AS TO SALE OF EXPO EXPRESS
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LIB

Jean-Luc Pepin (Minister of Industry; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Hon. Jean-Luc Pepin (Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, it is not my intention to ask that the decision be reconsidered. In December 1967 and March 1968, if I remember well, the federal and the provincial government issued orders in council asking the corporation to sell Expo Express by public tender.

Since then, and particularly since last June 25, the city of Montreal could have made representations to the federal or provincial governments to ask for reconsideration of the decision. The city of Montreal could very well have tendered also. She did neither, except at the very last minute.

However, those who had submitted bona fide tenders had I think gained certain rights the more so as they had been assured that the selection of tenders would be made on a commercial basis.

The only reason why we could change our decision now would be the consideration of the price quoted by the selected tenderer. However, the price quoted has been deemed, from a commercial viewpoint, to be acceptable to the company. It seems to me therefore there is no reason why the company's decision should be changed.

Topic:   EXPO '67 INQUIRY AS TO SALE OF EXPO EXPRESS
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PC

Georges-J. Valade

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Georges Valade (Sainie-Marie):

Mr. Speaker, may I put a supplementary question concerning the site of the World Exhibition?

Has the honourable Minister of Industry and Trade and Commerce been advised that an offer was made by the Fondation Molierel Has he read the brief asking that Cite du Havre not be demolished and that it be handed over to the Fondation Moliere for the purpose of setting up a film centre?

Topic:   EXPO '67 INQUIRY AS TO SALE OF EXPO EXPRESS
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LIB

Jean-Luc Pepin (Minister of Industry; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Hon. Jean-Luc Pepin (Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce):

No, Mr. Speaker, I have received no such letter.

Ociober 17, 1968

Topic:   EXPO '67 INQUIRY AS TO SALE OF EXPO EXPRESS
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October 17, 1968